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Camp Esperanza, a state-sanctioned camp in Southeast Austin, will expand under the county's new iniative. (Jordan Vonderhaar)

The Travis County Commissioners Court voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to invest $110 million in COVID-19 recovery funds in homelessness prevention and affordable housing.


The funds, approved contingently pending a forthcoming fiscal analysis, come from the federal government's American Rescue Plan, relief dollars meant to help localities recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic.

This is how the funds will be used:

  • Six to eight affordable housing communities that would serve some 1,000 residents. Half of those communities would be located west of I-35.
  • A 200-tiny home expansion of Camp Esperanza in Southeast Austin, along with other services.
  • A new housing community called Burleson Village on Burleson Road just minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which would serve around 700 residents.

Similarly, Austin City Council in June set aside $106.7 million through the American Rescue Plan for the homelessness crisis.

"If you're poor and you're in Austin, you're at the gates of hell," Commissioner Jeff Travillion said Tuesday. "We have to make sure that these dollars are an investment for poor people."

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Whether you became a home chef when the pandemic began or have always enjoyed crafting delicious meals, it’s undeniable that no home is complete without a cozy kitchen.

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(Chili Cold Blood Chili Cook Off/Facebook)

Sample some spirits
When: 11:30 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Where: Desert Door, 211 Darden Hill Rd. Driftwood
What: Attend Desert Door Distillery’s first Explorer Series of 2022. Guests will be able to sample Caliber on its own or in a delicious cocktail.

Eat some chili
When: 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sagebrush, 5500 S. Congress Ave.
What: Enjoy great chili and great music at the 14th Annual Chili Cold Blood Chili Cook-Off. All proceeds will be donated to Health Alliance for Austin Musicians in memory of Nick Curran.

Enjoy some local art
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Neill-Cochran House Museum, 2310 San Gabriel St.
What: The Neil-Cochran House Museum will host a multi-media art exhibition by Austin artist Nell Gottlieb, titled “Land as Persona: An Artist’s Journey.” Gottlieb works in multiple media to reexamine her coming of age, white and female in the Jim Crow South.

Catch some improv comedy
When: 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: GameOn! ATX, 1515 Dungan Ln.
What: ColdTowne ThrowDowne is an improv comedy tournament between troupes that will take place in front of a live studio audience and streamed live to the world on Twitch.

Catch a Johnny Cash-style show
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
Where: Georgetown Palace Theatre, 810 S. Austin Ave.
What: Experience music history with a unique musical about love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and the healing power of home and family set to the tune of the legendary Johnny Cash.